Celebrating the Outdoors


Master Archer Byron Ferguson will return to NHFD Celebration at Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park this weekend.

A celebration of the outdoors is planned this weekend at Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park.  The annual National Hunting and Fishing Day Celebration could draw a record crowd for 2009.  

"The big WVU/Marshall Game hurt us a little bit (last year), we still had 14-thousand," said Jerry Westfall of the West Virginia DNR. "Gas prices then were over four-dollars a gallon which was tough.  We’re not facing that this year so we expect record attendance."

It’s the 32nd year for the celebration that had meager beginnings at the West Virginia Wildlife Center in French Creek.   As the event grew, it migrated to Stonewall where it was afforded more room to operate and easier access to the general public off I-79.   The event also grew to a two day affair.

"There’s just so much to see and do, it’s hard to get it all into one day," said Westfall.  "Many families make a weekend of it."

Today, the West Virginia Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day is one of the largest in the country. 

The lineup for 2009 will feature some old favorites and a few new offerings for visitors.   Returning in 2009 will be master archer Bryan Ferguson of Alabama.

"He’s just amazing," said Foster.

Other new speakers and seminar hosts will be Smokey McNicholas from New Cumberland, West Virginia with deer and wildlife seminars.  Mike Roberts of Elkins will put on a wildlife demonstration that is wildly popular with children.    One of the most popular seminars features Tom Bechtel of Pennsylvania who imparts a wide range of knowledge about coyotes.   Returning for the first time in several years will be West Virginia snake expert Roy Moose.

Visitors will also have an opportunity to get hands on experiences.   The public will be allowed to shoot small rifles, muzzleloaders, shotguns, bows, and even crossbow shooting this year.   Flycasting, conventional casting, and other fishing opportunities will also be offered.

There will be varied demonstrations on game cooking, field dressing, bird dog training, hunting, fishing, bird watching, and much more.

"This is designed to appeal to outdoor enthusiasts of any age," explained Westfall. "Especially those young budding hunters and fishermen or those who enjoy non-consumptive outdoor pursuits, bird watching, camping, and the like."

You can learn more about the activities by clicking HERE.


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